Putin's Prisoner

Putin's Prisoner

My Time as a Prisoner of War in Ukraine


Brought to you by Penguin.

Aiden Aslin joined the Ukrainian marines in 2018, compelled to defend his adopted homeland from the growing threat of Russian invasion. In February 2022, as Russia mounted a full-scale offensive, Aiden and his unit were stationed at the frontline at Mariupol.

Pinned down at a Mariupol steelworks, after a month-long siege and running out of supplies, Aiden was part of the mass surrender of over a thousand Ukrainian troops, in April 2022. Then his real ordeal began.

Singled out for his British passport, Aiden was interrogated, tortured, stabbed, turned into a propaganda zombie, tried by a kangaroo court and then sentenced to death. A victim of a catalogue of abuses of international law, Aiden struggled to cling on to any hope of survival. Certain that he was going to be executed, he was eventually freed in a prisoner exchange and permitted to return home.

In Putin's Prisoner, Aiden will tell the full, harrowing story of his time fighting in Putin's war, of his six months in Russian captivity, and of his hardened resolve to defend the freedoms of the people of Ukraine.

©2023 Aiden Aslin & John Sweeney (P)2023 Penguin Audio


  • A great read. An amazing story.
    Jeremy Vine

About the authors

Aiden Aslin

Aiden Aslin is a British-born resident of Ukraine. Living in Mykolaiv with his fiancé, he joined the Ukrainian marines in 2018 and was called to the frontline ahead of the Russian invasion in February 2022. He was one of over a thousand soldiers who surrendered after the month-long siege at the Mariupol steelworks, whereupon he was singled out for his British passport. His surrender, captivity, treatment and subsequent release received global media attention.
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John Sweeney

John Sweeney is a writer and journalist who, when working for the BBC, has challenged dictators, despots, cult leaders, con artists and crooked businessmen for many years. Sweeney has covered wars and chaos in one hundred countries and been undercover to a number of tyrannies, including Chechnya, North Korea and Zimbabwe. The author of fifteen books including the Sunday Times best- seller Killer in the Kremlin, he reports on the war in Ukraine from his twitter handle @johnsweeneyroar
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